A Review of the Gaggia Classic Pro

by Marc Buckman Updated: August 25, 2023 5 min read
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The Gaggia Classic Pro is made in Italy, and it’s a machine, not an appliance. Here at Whole Latte Love, we always call this the best entry level machine there is. It’s been around for a long, long time but this one’s got some upgrades. The big one being the commercial steam wand. It has a two hole steam tip on it and you can really create some nice textured milk for latte art.

In this article we are going to walk you through brewing, steaming, and pouring some art. If you’re familiar with the Classic, you’ll notice all of the little changes on the Pro model. With that manual steaming now, you’re looking at a lot less money for a machine that is right up there with a Silvia.

The Gaggia Classic Pro can grow with you. It does come with a pressurized basket, but it has a double shot and single shot commercial basket as well. The pressurized basket is if you don’t have a grinder, so you can put any coffee in that and you should get a crema out of that coffee and a decent espresso. If you use the commercial ones, you’ll get a real commercial espresso.

Another key difference is the size of the grouphead, and the portafilter is now 58mm and made of chrome plated brass — the same thing you use on the commercial machines. Gaggia has been using the full commercial groups since 1977 with the Gaggia Baby.

So, we’re going to go top to bottom through the steam wand, 3-way solenoid valve, upgrade accessories, and some coffees.

Top to Bottom

At the top of the machine is a passive, stainless steel cup warmer. The water reservoir can be filled from up top or pulled from down below. The Gaggia Classic Pro now has three rocker switches for powering up, brewing, and steaming. There are three ready lights beneath these switches. On the side of the machine is a knob to control the steam valve for getting steam or hot water out of the wand. We’ve got the commercial wand with the two hole steam tip and the rubber grip so you don’t burn yourself. The blowout tube now has a rubber grip as well, making it easier to pull out.

For folks who don’t know, the blowout tube hooks in with the solenoid valve inside the machine. When you turn the brew switch off, a valve opens and relieves water pressure, the water then goes through the tube and into the drip tray. The blowout tube helps you get a nice dry puck of coffee and makes overall maintenance easier.

There’s a full 58 mm chrome-plated brass portafilter. It weighs a full 1 lb, has double spouts, and a nice handle on it with a new “G” logo on the end. The Classic Pro comes with a double shot pressurized filter basket, single shot commercial basket, double shot commercial basket, a tamper, and a coffee scoop. When you use the pressurized basket, be sure to put the two-way pin in the bottom of your portafilter before putting the basket back in.

The drip tray has been redesigned on the Classic Pro. It has a nice curve, comes off easily, and the drip tray is a good size overall. You can get to your water reservoir by taking out the drip tray and the blowout tube before reaching back and sliding the reservoir out. A small upgrade that helps is a small crevice on the side of the machine that allows you to see your reservoir’s water level and make it easier to pull it out.The Gaggia Classic Pro has stainless steel housing that looks good and won’t rust like machines with steel housing.

Brewing and Steaming

We used a Baratza 270 for our grinder, Maromas Orphea for our coffee, and the plastic tamper that comes with Classic Pro. We pulled a double shot with 17 grams, and made an espresso and latte. The commercial style steam wand gave us a creamy milk that poured into a nice latte art.

A quick review:

  • The Gaggia Classic was a Consumer’s Digest Best Buy in 2011, which was years before the upgrades.
  • New pump mount makes brewing quieter.
  • Italian made.
  • It has a new commercial style steam wand with a two-hole steam tip.
  • New controls on the front have ready lights A cutout by the reservoir makes it easier to see water levels.
  • Nice new drip tray.

We consider the Gaggia Classic Pro the best entry-level espresso machine because it can grow with you. You can start without a grinder, using that pressurized basket. But, when you get the grinder and you’re ready to go a little next level with your brewing, some of the accessories we have can help.

Recommended Accessories for the Classic Pro

We love the Baristapro Nanotech Filter Baskets. They come in 15g, 18g, 20g, and 22g sized baskets, so you can pull a triple shot with this if you want.

One of our favorites is the Gaggia Bottomless Portafilter. If you’re going to get the bottomless portafilter, you might as well get the really nice Baristapro basket as well. You really see the espresso, and a bottomless portafilter helps with your technique if you’re channeling.

There’s even a nanotech showerscreen that you can use in place of the stock one. The stock one is okay, but the nanotech option gives you a little nicer flow and stays a lot cleaner. We also use upgrades like these on some of our prosumers. We find that prosumers come with great starter stuff, just like the Classic, but we also use upgrades for those.

We also approve of the silicone Caffewerks Group Gaskets. Eventually, over time, the rubber group gasket that comes with machines do wear out. These silicone gaskets are more flexible and don’t wear out as quickly. For the Gaggia Classic Pro, you’ll want the yellow silicone group gasket.

The Classic Pro comes with a plastic tamper that we used during our brewing test and it works okay, but if you want to take it to the next level we have the Rattleware 58mm Tamper. Levelers, like the Asso Coffee Jack Leveler, are another great option as you can upgrade and increase your experience with the machine if you want to.

So that is everything on the Gaggia Classic Pro. If you want more information, please feel free to give us a call or look at the product on our website.

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